My 7-year-old is now at the point where he can easily tackle chapter books on his own, but we still end each day spending some time reading together at bedtime. It is a treasured moment- very often the best part of my day.
We are now at the point where he’s well beyond most picture books- although I will never be 😉 -and not yet ready for most YA material. The elementary years are a time when reading ability sometimes outpaces readiness for the mature themes found in some chapter books. I had started to feel that we had a dearth of good options, until I asked my friends (a group that luckily includes elementary teachers, librarians, and any number of voracious readers). They quickly reminded me of some wonderful authors and books from my own childhood that I had not yet shared with my son, and also introduced a number of great new options.
I’ve had a number of requests to share this list, which is by no means exhaustive. Please feel free to add your favorites!
A number of authors were mentioned over and over again as tops for elementary readers, including: Beverly Cleary, Roald Dahl, E.B. White, Madeleine L’Engle, and Judy Blume.
Recommended series included “How to Train Your Dragon”, The “Magic Tree House” books, “The Spiderwick Chronicles”, “Wayside School”, “Secret Agent Jack Stalwart”, “Ricky Ricotta”, and of course, “Harry Potter”. Classics like The Little House series and The Boxcar Children were also mentioned.
A couple of wonderful resources were suggested including: Read Aloud Revival , Book Crush by Nancy Pearl, a list of read aloud books from Common Sense Media, and Jim Trelease’s Read–Aloud Handbook. Finally, Goodreads is my favorite place to curate books I’ve read or want to read. I’ve collected all of the recommendations I’ve received for elementary chapter books here, and there are any number of other compiled lists on Goodreads.
Happy reading and thanks to all whose recommendations got us back on track after a few duds (that shall remain nameless).